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New Zealand landscape

New Zealand Sounds and Steward Island

Bluff Roundtrip - Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Coral Adventurer
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Set sail with Coral Adventurer to explore the breathtaking natural wonders of New Zealand's South Island and Fiords. Starting from Bluff, you'll spend three days exploring the famous Fiordland National Park, where you'll be amazed by the landscapes of Milford Sound, Dusky Sound, and Doubtful Sound, with tall cliffs and waterfalls all around. Discover the hidden gems of Stewart Island, full of Maori stories, with guided walks at the Ulva Bird Sanctuary and visits to historic sites like a Norwegian Whaling base. Fiordland National Park is famous worldwide for its stunning views, which are shaped by glaciers. Cruise to the remote Dusky Sound and visit places like Astronomers Point. Enjoy the peaceful beauty of Doubtful Sound, with tall cliffs and waterfalls, and sail past Nee Islets, where you can explore Thompson Island's Deas Cove. In Milford Sound, see famous landmarks like Stirling Falls and Mitre Peak, and take exciting Zodiac/Xplorer trips on the turquoise waters. Spot rare animals like Buller’s albatross and Fiordland crested penguins at Solander Island, and spend a day at sea watching unique bird species.
Stewart Island, New ZealandExplore the stunning Milford SoundLake and mountains in Milford Sound, South Island, New ZealandObserve beautiful fur sealsAmazing aerial view of Fiordland National Park on scenic flight from Milford Sound to Queenstown, NZNew Zealand landscape
  • Explore Fiordland National Park's majestic landscapes and hidden treasures.
  • Cruise through the remote beauty of Dusky Sound, encountering rare wildlife
  • Experience the tranquil majesty of Doubtful Sound's serene fjords
  • Enjoy exciting Zodiac/Xplorer excursions into turquoise waters
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Bluff, New Zealand | Embark

Guests arriving early can check in with the team and head to Rydges Lakeland around 10:30 am to relax and enjoy light refreshments. A 3-hour complimentary transfer by coach will take you from the hotel to board the Coral Adventurer, docked at Bluff Harbour.  After boarding at 4:00 pm, there is time to settle into your stateroom before the 5:00 pm departure towards Stewart Island for overnight anchorage. Take in the sights while enjoying the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow passengers.

Meeting point for Guests

Rydges Lakeland Resort Queenstown, 38 -54 Lake Esplanade, Queenstown
Open from 10:30 am, guests can check in with one of the team then head to the Reds Bar to relax and enjoy light food offerings and tea/coffee/fruit Juice.

Day 2-8: Explore South Island Sounds and Fiords

Known in Māori mythology as Te Punga o Te Waka – The Anchor Stone of Maui’s Canoe’ – Stewart Island (Rakiura) is New Zealand’s little-known ‘third island’. Apart from the communities on the island, many people never venture to remote Stewart Island. Enjoy a guided walk by the expedition team at the Ulva Bird Sanctuary, which offers a predator-free environment for rare and endangered birds. Visit the remains of the Norwegian Whaling base. Spend the rest of your day embarking on a nature cruise and later visit the Oban Township.

Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage site once described as the Eighth Wonder of the World by author Rudyard Kipling, is characterized by 14 fiords carving through just 215km of coastline. These fiords were carved by glaciers over thousands of years, and you will see waterfalls cascading down the sheer cliffs, rainforest cloaking the steep ridges, and granite peaks reflected in the deep shimmering waters.

These mostly inaccessible and awe-inspiring landscapes were the mysterious source of powerful pounamu (New Zealand Jade), gathered by Māori from the riverbeds and boulders of the South Island – the only place it occurs.  While some European settlers took shelter here, the deep isolation and rugged terrain thwarted all except the toughest from staying. Many flora and fauna species have developed in relative isolation, so many of the diverse plants and animals are unique to the area.

Today, sail into Dusky Sound which is a remote destination inaccessible by road. Dusky sound is the largest and most complex of the Fiordland Sounds. It is also a designated Bird Area for the Fiordland penguins that breed here. Visit the historic Astronomers Point boardwalk, where James Cook set up a temporary observatory in 1773, and encounter the fur seals of Luncheon Cove. Guests will have a chance to explore Cascade Cove, followed by water activities, such as using the ship's kayaks for a fun paddle or taking a polar dip in crystal-clear waters. Depart Dusky Sound cruising through the Acheron and Cook’s passages.

Doubtful Sound is the deepest and widest fiord, flanked by towering cliffs and adorned by cascading waterfalls. The stillness and silence of this Fiord is compelling and unforgettable. Cruise into Doubtful Sound and past the Nee Islets and through ‘the Gut’ and outer Seal colonies where you may spot fur seals lounging on the rocks, and pods of dolphins. If the weather permits, head to nearby Thompson Island and enjoy a walk at Deas Cove.

Encounter breathtaking views as Coral Adventurer enters the Milford Sound, heading towards the famous Stirling Falls. You will have a chance to feel the spray from Stirling Falls  and get a close-up view in your designated Zodiacs/Xplorers. Witness the world-famous view of Mitre Peak, rising some 1,682 meters. Its triangular silhouette rises opposite beautiful Stirling Falls, falling from the top of a 162m high cliff between two towering ridges into the water’s deep shades of turquoise and emerald.

Spend the day transiting through the Solander Islands, with the Māori name Hautere translating to ‘flying wind’, are a trio of uninhabited volcanic islets that lie just beyond New Zealand’s South Island. Aboard the Endeavour, Captain James Cook spotted the islands in early 1770, and was named after a Swedish scientific crew member on board, Daniel Solander. The islands have only been known to be inhabited briefly due to marooning or shipwrecks.
With one-third of the wildlife on the islands being incredibly rare, it is likely that you will spot fernbirds, snipe, and white-fronted terns. The island has been declared an Important Bird Area as it is a breeding site for common diving petrels and Buller’s albatrosses amassing some 5000 pairs.

Day 9: Bluff, New Zealand | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Prepare for disembarkation as the ship arrives at Bluff Port at 7:00 am, followed by farewell to the crew and new-found friends at 8:00 am. Enjoy a complimentary transfer by coach to Queenstown hotels or airport after disembarkation.


Coral Adventurer

Coral Adventurer
Coral Adventurer
Coral Adventurer

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,325 2-3 travelers
Coral Adventurer
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Coral Deck Stateroom
Identical to the Promenade Deck Staterooms except for their location one deck below. These staterooms have twin portholes rather than picture windows.
Coral Adventurer
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Promenade Deck Stateroom
Located below the Explorer deck and furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk, and armchair are included.
Coral Adventurer
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Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom
Comfortably furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk, and armchair are included.
Coral Adventurer
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Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom
Comfortably furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk, and armchair are included.
Coral Adventurer
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Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
Suites are equipped with a lounge area, minibar, and personal coffee machine. They have special King sized beds which can be separated into two singles.


Important Fare Information:
Rates are posted based off of the current exchange rates from Australian Dollars. Please contact us for current exchange rates
  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • All entrance fees to National Parks, ports, traditional owner fees and charges imposed by governing authorities
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell events, and open bridge access
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and kayaks
  • All excursions with our Expedition Team
  • Daily lectures and briefings with Guest Lecturers
  • Use of all onboard facilities, incl. a reference library
  • Your expedition photos captured during the voyage
  • Post-cruise transfers (in most destinations)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Laundry Service
  • Entry visas/Travel permits
  • Alcoholic drinks including beer and wine outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Internet 
  • Pre-cruise transfers
  • Pre and post cruise flights/charter flights
  • Pre and post cruise accommodation
  • Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras (in some destinations)


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.


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